Jose Enrique Ucan Briceno also known as Careto, is native to Punta Allen and the blue-green waters of Ascension Bay in the Biosphere Reserve Sian Ka’an in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Jose passes the fall, winter, and spring months as a flyfishing guide specializing in the elusive permit. In the summer months he also doubles as a lobster fisherman with the world reknowned fishing cooperative Vigia Chico.
In the last ten years no other guide in Ascension Bay has surpassed (or even gotten close) to Jose’s permit count. He is currently participating in a permit tagging program organized by Cozumel Bonefish Conservation and Bonefish Tarpon Trust. He has guided the capture of at least 1000 permit in his guide career. His hawk eyes and keen senses spot permit at great distances. Jose’s clients joke that he can smell permit on a flat.
As a child his family lovingly called Jose “El nino que vino del mar”, translation:”the boy who came from the sea.” He grew up on the shores of Punta Allen snapper fishing with his amigos and many cousins. He learned the nooks and crannies and “secret spots” in Ascension Bay commercial fishing with his grandfather and uncles starting at age 7. Jose started diving for lobster with his father at age 10, and was incorporated as a member of the lobster coop at age 15.
The Sian Ka’an Reserve finally came into effect in the late 80’s and the local commercial fisherman started to appreciate the renewal resource of sport fishing, namely catch and release for bonefish. Jose’s uncle took him along for the first time when he was 10. He started Junior Guiding at Pesca Maya by age 14, and was promoted to guide at age 16. From 2003 to 2011 he was the top guide at Cuzan Guesthouse, and is now is the head guide and managing partner along with his wife Lily at La Pescadora Fishing Lodge.
Jose has enjoyed and taken advantage of invitations to fish in many places: Cape Cod for stripers and bluefish; Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina for brown, brook, and rainbow trout; Pyramid Lake, Nevada for cut throat trout; Truckee River, California for rainbow trout; the ponds at Canvas Back Duck Club, Nevada for carp; Henry’s Fork and Fall River, Idaho for rainbow trout; Key West for permit and giant tarpon; and Scorpion Reef/Atoll for big bonefish.
Jose lives in Punta Allen with his wife Lily and sons Parker and Romeo. He feeds them well with all kinds of fish.